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National Coalition to Save Our Mall v. Norton

Citation: 32 ELR 20319
No. No. 01-5290, 269 F.3d 1092/53 ERC 1589/(D.C. Cir., 11/08/2001)

The court holds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a coalition's claims that federal agencies violated a variety of statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, in approving the design and construction of a World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In May 2001, while this case was pending in district court, Congress enacted a law (the Act) that exempts construction of the memorial from possible statutory obstacles and bars judicial review of agency decisions underlying the construction. The district court, therefore, dismissed the action. On appeal, the coalition argues that the Act did not effect such a large exemption. The court holds that the language of the Act and its overall structure evince an unequivocal intent to cut off judicial review of all of the defendant agencies' past actions regarding the memorial. Moreover, the Act does not infringe on the federal courts' judicial power under Article III. The court may still consider the Act's constitutionality, and none of the cited case law supports the coalition's view to the contrary.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (6 pp., ELR Order No. L-401).

Counsel for Appellants
William T. Mayton
Law Offices of Andrea C. Ferster
1100 17th St. NW, 10th Fl., Washington DC 20036
(202) 974-5142

Counsel for Appellees
R. Justin Smith
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

[OPINION OMITTED BY PUBLISHER IN ORIGINAL SOURCE]

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